Emmanuel Savice, a campaigner for the establishment of a war crimes tribunal in Liberia, on March 3rd suffered the wrath of officers of the Executive Protection Service (EPS, also known as the presidential guard) and the Liberia National Police.
Reports have it that Savice and some of his strong supporters, including former Montserrado Electoral District #9 Representative candidate, Fubbi Henries and former Ulimo J. general, Pasty Joshua Milton Blahyi (formerly known by his wartime alias, ‘General Butt Naked’) were pursued from the grounds of the Capitol by some EPS officers, arrested and turned over to the LNP for investigation.
Whatever must have been responsible for the arrest and detention of Savice and his colleagues is yet to be known. However, over time, he has led and continues to lead the campaign for the establishment of a war and economic crimes court in Liberia so that perpetrators of the many heinous crimes during the civil war face justice.
It a press statement, the Executive Mansion confirmed that several persons have been arrested by the Liberian National Police for breach of security at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the office of President George M. Weah is also housed.
The statement noted: “The group led by Justice advocate Emmanuel Savice reportedly broke into the perimeter demarcated by officers of the Executive Protection Service (EPS) and blocked the entrance with a vehicle.”
“Savice and his followers, who had earlier gone to the Capitol Building to petition lawmakers for the establishment of a war crimes court, used their vehicle to block the exit route of the Presidential convoy,” the release said.
Some members of the group, including Savice, were subsequently arrested by LNP officers who had gone to ensure the protection of the rights of the protesters to gather and petition their government.
“I was beaten mercilessly by EPS and turned over for charges,” Savice posted on his Facebook wall yesterday. “I am presently at the LNP. The beating style included putting a blanket around my face to step on my side of my ears while being kicked by many of the EPS security. Representatives from the House, my lawyer and a UN representative is seeking my release to go to the hospital. My wallet and my phone were taken away. A total of 1,800 stolen from me. All this for the fight for War and Economic Crimes Court.”
Both the EPS and LNP denied beating Savice and his followers. The police authorities, however, acknowledged having Savice and companions in their custody and announced that they will be duly charged and forwarded to court.
According to the Executive Mansion release, the George Weah Administration says it remains committed to ensuring that the constitutional rights of all Liberians to free assembly and association is respected but, at the same time, cognizant that the exercise of such right is done in a civil manner in keeping with the law.
Emmanuel Savice has been one of those Liberians calling on the George Manneh Weah administration to see reason and take interest in the establishment of a court to try perpetrators of war and economic crimes in order to deter others from orchestrating any plan that may take the country back to its dark days, Meanwhile, the advocates have been released by the national police, without charging them. Culled: By Alvin Worzi and David S. Menjor/www.liberianobserver.com
Main Photo: Emmanuel Savice